Year in Review

Crossbone Graveyard

Funny, I started these 13 years ago but didn’t do one in 2019. Maybe I knew something was coming. As always thanks to Prof. Dr. Molly Steenson for initiating this habit

1. What did you do in 2020 that you’d never done before?
Draught excluded a floorboard.

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Most of my resolutions got swept aside by the crisis but I did end up doing a ceramics course and replaced my ambitions to get back into lifeguard level swimming (24 lengths in 14 minutes) with cycling and 9 Tier 3 tennis classes. I also wrote and finished my book and it was published before the end of the year. So feel pretty happy about that. I did not do an architectural tour of L.A. but I now have a better plan for a tour of obscure US modernist architecture for 2022-3.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes two friends. Down from a million a couple of years ago.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No.

5. What countries did you visit?
None. Relaxing af.

6. What would you like to have in 2021 that you lacked in 2020?
A boyfriend would be lovely but frankly I’d settle for more work.

7. What date from 2020 will remain etched upon your memory?
March 14th when I started staying home.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Just keeping physically fit in a pandemic.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Sleep has been elusive.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A Rapha waterproof and a Marin roadbike.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Anyone working for the NHS.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Most politicians.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Cycling accessories, 40 Maltby Street takeaway and Louise Boulter art.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I wrote a book in a pandemic!

16. What song/album will always remind you of 2020?
Fiona Apple and This is The Kit came up with some damn good, pandemic themed albums.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
In better physical shape, but more tired.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Swimming, museums, hugging, dining with friends, indoor activities generally.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Zoom.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Zoomed with family in Canada.

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
Mum of course.

22. Did you fall in love in 2020?
No.

23. What was your favourite TV programme?
I still don’t watch TV series (I should just get rid of this question).

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No.

25. What was the best book(s) you read?
Philip Slater’s The Pursuit of Loneliness, Flights and weirdly (because the characters pissed me off) Conversations with Friends. All the other books were terrific but there was a lot of research reading in there which I don’t count.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I quickly switched to BBC Radio 3 in March and have adored their breakfast show and Night Tracks.

27. What did you want and get?
To finish writing my book and get it published.

28. What did you want and not get?
Someone to walk around / cycle with.

29. What were your favourite films of this year?
I have kept exploring the 1990s back catalogue and really adored Love is The Devil, an independant film about Francis Bacon’s relationship with George Dyer.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I walked along the Thames with a friend and we had takeaway sandwiches and champagne.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More close contact with people.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2020?
Scarfs & masks.

33. What kept you sane?
Conversations with C.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
No time for that. (What even is this question?)

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Brexit, obvs.

36. Who did you miss?
Dad.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
S. & L.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2020.
I have a D.T. Suzuki quote hung up in my office which I like (he wasn’t such a great dude so don’t google him): ‘Those who know the earth only through the fruits or blessings it imparts to them really do not know the earth. To be familiar with the earth is to taste its sufferings.’ I think this year was definitely about tasting the sufferings but it made me grateful for the blessings I have.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?

Time to procrastinate fast
Are we useful yet?
Putting the pressure on hot
Future came and left
Everything else is the past

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